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iPod: The Gift That Keeps on Going
Steve Jobs: Home Wrecker?
Outside the virtual world, Jobs is battling preservationists in Woodside, Calif., where he has a home. Local officials there gave Jobs the go-ahead to knock down a historic building on his property, CNET's News.com reported yesterday. "Jobs, who owns an expansive Mission Revival home designed by the late, internationally known architect George Washington Smith, was battling with preservationists, who sought to keep the home intact. The building had fallen into severe disrepair over the years. The Woodside Town Council held a public hearing Tuesday night to consider the preservationists' appeal of an earlier decision by the town's planning commission in June. In that decision, the commission, noting that there were no historic preservation ordinances on its books, approved the demolition, providing certain contingences were met."
CNET's News.com: Jobs Gets OK To Tear Down Historic House
To further get your Apple fix this holiday season, there's a new book out about the Macintosh revolution, by Apple engineer alum Andy Hertzfeld. Wired News has a review of the book, "Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made."
Shopping Without Dropping
Internet shopping is a goldmine for people like me who hate going to the mall and see the extra costs of shipping and handling as a "crowd-avoidance convenience fee." It's people like us that Washington Post tech columnist Leslie Walker was thinking of when she wrote her latest story. "While offline shoppers still have eight full shopping days to fight the grumpy throngs at area malls, online shoppers have half that -- or less -- to take advantage of free and low-cost shipping. Today through Saturday are the cutoff dates for standard shipping at most Internet retailers in order to guarantee delivery by Dec. 24. Since free-delivery offers usually apply only to standard shipping, which takes four to seven days, that means Internet orders get more expensive next week when people starting paying extra for second-day air or next-day service to guarantee Christmas delivery," Walker wrote.
The Washington Post: The Shipping News? Time's Almost Up (Registration required)
Calling From 30,000 Feet
If you thought trying to watch a movie in a theater without a cell phone soundtrack was a challenge, try doing it in an airplane this time next year. The Federal Communications Commission may lift the ban on cell phone use on commercial flights. Some details, from The Washington Post, which noted the "commission thinks cell phone technology has advanced far enough in recent years to minimize such disruption of ground service. Yesterday, the FCC voted to consider lifting its ban, and it will begin taking comments from businesses and travelers over the next few months. The [Federal Aviation Administration], meanwhile, has commissioned a study that could eventually result in its cell phone ban being lifted. In the meantime, according to an agency spokesman, the FAA would consider lifting the ban for a specific airline or manufacturer if it could prove that cell phone or Internet use on its aircraft is not dangerous." The Los Angeles Times wins the cliché headline award, with "Cellphone Use Could Be Cleared For Takeoff." From the Times: "The proposal faces a long list of regulatory and technological -- not to mention etiquette -- challenges. It may take several years and several hundred million dollars before denizens of the middle seat can ask friends on the ground, 'Can you hear me now?'"
The Washington Post: FCC Considers Cell Phone Use On Airplanes (Registration required)
Los Angeles Times: Cellphone Use Could Be Cleared For Takeoff (Registration required)
CNET's News.com and the San Jose Mercury News penned their own pieces, with the Merc noting that high-speed Internet access from the skies is not far off either. Fliers "could be browsing the Internet and reading e-mail routinely by high-speed Internet connections to their laptop computers in one to two years thanks to a decision Wednesday from federal regulators." USA Today reported that "In-flight broadband is further along than cell phone service. The Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday to rearrange a chunk of spectrum to permit broadband in the skies by 2006. An auction for companies to bid for the airwaves will be held next near."
San Jose Mercury News: FCC Votes To Allow High-Speed Web Access On Flights (Registration required)
USA Today: Net Surfing, Cell Calls On Planes Closer
A Whopper of a Security Deal
It's official: The security software space has its own marriage between two industry players, with Symantec acquiring Veritas Software in a $13.5 billion stock deal. Word of the deal leaked out earlier this week, but the companies announced the plan this morning. The deal is "creating a potential software powerhouse with leading positions in some of the industry's fastest-growing segments," the Wall Street Journal reported. "In approving the deal, the companies set aside concerns that a big decline in Symantec's share price following news reports of the Veritas talks might scuttle an agreement. Investors were concerned that absorbing Veritas, which makes software for managing data-storage computers, would slow Symantec's torrid growth in the hot security software market."
The Wall Street Journal: Symantec Sets Deal to Acquire Veritas for About $13.5 Billion (Subscription required)
The Associated Press via washingtonpost.com: Symantec To Buy Veritas For $13.5 Billion (Registration required)
The governor of Illinois is trying to squelch the growing tide of violent video games. "Gov. Rod Blagojevich is proposing to make it a misdemeanor for businesses to sell violent and sexually explicit video games to minors, a step that other states have tried with little success. Blagojevich's proposed legislation would prohibit the distribution, sale, rental and availability of mature video games to children younger than 18, spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff told The Associated Press on Wednesday," the AP reported today. The Wall Street Journal reported the governor also "plans to introduce two bills during the state's next legislative session -- one for games with realistic human-on-human violence and a separate bill for games that depict nudity shown in a way that 'appeals to the prurient interest of the player.'"
A Push to Restrict Sales of Video Games (Registration required)
The Wall Street Journal: State May Restrict Game Sales (Subscription required)
The Mozilla Foundation still has a ways to go before it can eat away significant market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, but it took a giant step forward today with an ad in the New York Times. (You can see the ad on Mozilla's Web site) We called the paper, but spokeswoman Kathy Park declined to comment on how much Mozilla paid. A Mozilla spokesman was unavailable for comment. Here's the really cool part: Check out the fine print on the left side -- it contains the names of thousands of people who paid to help Mozilla buy the ad.